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Gender Differences in Subjective Well-Being In and Out of Management Positions

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  • Eileen Trzcinski

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  • Elke Holst

Abstract

This study used data from the German Socio-economic Panel to examine gender differences in the extent to which self-reported subjective well-being was associated with occupying a high-level managerial position in the labour market,compared with employment in nonleadership, non-high-level managerial positions, unemployment, and non-labour market participation. Our results indicated that a clear hierarchy exists for men in term of how status within the labour market was associated with subjective life satisfaction. Unemployed men were the least satisfied, followed by men who were not in the labour market, while men in leadership positions reported the highest level of subjective life satisfaction. For women, no statistically significant differences were observed among women in high-level managerial positions, women who worked in non-high-level positions, and women who specialized in household production, with no market work. Only women who were unemployed reported lower levels of life satisfaction, compared with women in other labour-market statuses. Our results lend evidence to the contention that men can "have it all", but women must still choose between career and family in Germany. We argue that interventions need to address how the non-pecuniary rewards associated with high-level managerial and leadership positions can be increased for women. Such policies would also likely serve to mitigate the "pipeline" problem concerning the number of women who are available to move into high positions in the private sector.
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Suggested Citation

  • Eileen Trzcinski & Elke Holst, 2012. "Gender Differences in Subjective Well-Being In and Out of Management Positions," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 449-463, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:107:y:2012:i:3:p:449-463
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-011-9857-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Offerhaus, 2013. "The Type to Train?: Impacts of Personality Characteristics on Further Training Participation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 531, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Javier Salinas Jimenez & Maria del Mar Salinas Jimenez & Joaquin Artes Caselles, 2011. "Educación, participación en el mercado de trabajo y bienestar subjetivo: Estudio desde una perspectiva de género," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6,in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 54, pages 882-897 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    3. Nicola Matteucci & Sabrina Vieira Lima, 2016. "Women and happiness," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life, chapter 19, pages 419-447 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2013. "Do psychosocial traits help explain gender segregation in young people's occupations?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 59-73.
    5. Mª del Salinas-Jiménez & Joaquín Artés & Javier Salinas-Jiménez, 2013. "How Do Educational Attainment and Occupational and Wage-Earner Statuses Affect Life Satisfaction? A Gender Perspective Study," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 367-388, April.
    6. Agnieszka Bojanowska & Anna M. Zalewska, 2016. "Lay Understanding of Happiness and the Experience of Well-Being: Are Some Conceptions of Happiness More Beneficial than Others?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 793-815, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective life satisfaction; Women in management; Unemployment; Gender differences in employment outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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